First Wednesday Luncheon: The Moral Education at Oxford and Cambridge Universities
Mar
7
12:00 PM12:00

First Wednesday Luncheon: The Moral Education at Oxford and Cambridge Universities

As part of the Westfield Historical Society’s First Wednesday Luncheon series Mr. Jim Hewitt will present a talk on the moral education at Oxford and Cambridge Universities. The event will begin at 12PM at the Echo Lake Country Club, located at 515 Springfield Avenue, Westfield.

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Westfield Downtown Walking Tours
Nov
12
1:00 PM13:00

Westfield Downtown Walking Tours

Learn more about Westfield's past and present through some of its most notable buildings and landmarks. Take some time to look at the 1911 firehouse, built in the Spanish architectural style, find out what Greek muse is atop the World War I obelisk in Memorial Plaza, and gaze for a moment at our beautiful historic architecture.

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First Wednesday Luncheon: Preserving the Great Lawn in Rahway River Park
Nov
1
12:00 PM12:00

First Wednesday Luncheon: Preserving the Great Lawn in Rahway River Park

As part of the Westfield Historical Society’s First Wednesday Luncheon series Mr. Scott J. Aruta will present a talk on the Great Lawn in Rahway River Park on November 1st, 2017. The event will begin at 12PM at the Echo Lake Country Club, located at 515 Springfield Avenue, Westfield.

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Four Centuries in a Weekend Open House
Oct
21
to Oct 22

Four Centuries in a Weekend Open House

Saturday & Sunday, October 21-22, 12:00 - 5:00 PM
Reeve House, 314 Mountain Avenue, Westfield NJ

The Westfield Historical Society invites visitors to the Union County’s Four Centuries in a Weekend Open House at the Reeve House on Saturday, October 21 and Sunday, October 22 from 12:00-5:00pm.

Special exhibits include a video from the 1920s narrated by Carolyn Holt showing a “Day the Circus Came to Westfield”. The video, filmed by the narrator’s family when she was a child, features circus performers and animals disembarking from the train in Westfield and marching in a parade down Broad Street.

Another special exhibit will show information on the life and accomplishments of Dr. Virginia Apgar who was raised in Westfield and is a Westfield Historical Society Hall of Fame member. Dr. Apgar is renowned for establishing the method known as the Apgar Score, used by hospitals worldwide, to assess the condition of newborn babies. Virginia Apgar’s trading card will be distributed throughout the weekend to visitors who are collecting Union County’s History Trading Cards. Passports will also be stamped for those visitors traveling from site to site.

The Reeve History and Cultural Resource Center is located at 314 Mountain Avenue in Westfield, NJ. Tours of the historic Victorian era Reeve House will be given throughout the weekend.

 

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First Wednesday Luncheon: A Failed Russian Revolution: The Battleship Potemkin Mutiny of 1905
Oct
4
12:00 PM12:00

First Wednesday Luncheon: A Failed Russian Revolution: The Battleship Potemkin Mutiny of 1905

As part of the The Westfield Historical Society’s First Wednesday Luncheon series, Professor John Rossi will be speaking on the history of building ships and lighthouses on September 6th, 2017. The event will begin at 12PM at the Echo Lake Country Club, located at 515 Springfield Avenue, Westfield.

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First Wednesday Luncheon: The History of Building Ships and Lighthouses
Sep
6
12:00 PM12:00

First Wednesday Luncheon: The History of Building Ships and Lighthouses

As part of the The Westfield Historical Society’s First Wednesday Luncheon series, Professor John Rossi will be speaking on the history of building ships and lighthouses on September 6th, 2017. The event will begin at 12PM at the Echo Lake Country Club, located at 515 Springfield Avenue, Westfield.

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Damien Cregeau: The life of a Revolutionary War soldier
Apr
20
10:30 AM10:30

Damien Cregeau: The life of a Revolutionary War soldier

  • The Snyder Academy of Elizabethtown/ Old First Historic Trust / First Presbyterian Church (map)
  • Google Calendar ICS

The event features Mr. Damien Cregeau, historian and re-enactor, in the full uniform and kit of a typical Revolutionary War foot soldier. Mr. Cregeau and his wife Pam have re-enacted from Louisbourg, Nova Scotia down to Yorktown, Virginia over the past ten years. Mr. Cregeau will talk about the various challenges the soldiers faced, including not just battles, but also foraging for food, finding or constructing shelters, procuring clothing and trying to stay healthy.

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Presentation: Newark Through The Ages
Feb
26
2:30 PM14:30

Presentation: Newark Through The Ages

  • Reeve History and Cultural Resource Center (map)
  • Google Calendar ICS

Elizabeth R. Del Tufo, President of the City of Newark Landmarks and Historic Preservation Commission, will conduct a Sunday Afternoon Presentation about the history of the city of Newark. The talk will take place on February 26nd at 2:30 PM at the Reeve House in Westfield, New Jersey.

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Jan
22
2:30 PM14:30

Presentation: How the Great Depression and the New Deal Affected Everyday Lives and its Relevance to Today

  • Reeve History and Cultural Resource Center (map)
  • Google Calendar ICS

George Melloan, author of the new book “When the New Deal Came to Town, a Snapshot of a Place and Time With Lessons for Today,” will conduct a Sunday Afternoon Presentation about the history of the New Deal and the Great Depression. The talk will take place on Sunday, January 22nd at 2:30 PM at the Reeve House in Westfield, New Jersey. Mr. Melloan’s new book details how the federal policy errors of first the Republicans and then the Democrats prolonged the Great Depression and how the people of a small farm village in Indiana coped with the resulting hard times.

During his 64-year at The Wall Street Journal, Mr. Melloan was a reporter in Chicago and Detroit, manager of the Cleveland and Atlanta news bureaus, a page one editor in New York, and a foreign correspondent based in London. Among other news events of the late 1960s, he covered the Six-Day war in Israel, the Biafran war in Nigeria and the unsuccessful efforts at economic reform in the Soviet Union.

Mr. Melloan joined the Journal editorial page in 1970 and was made deputy editor in 1973. In 1987 he launched the Journal’s Business World column. In 1990 he moved to Brussels to oversee the European and Asian editorial pages, starting a new column, titled Global View. Returning to New York in late 1994, he added coverage of the Americas to his international responsibilities. He retired in 2006, but has continued to contribute op-eds and book reviews to the Journal.

Mr. Melloan is a member of the New York Council on Foreign Relations and the Dutch Treat Club in New York. He was winner of the Gerald Loeb award for distinguished business and financial journalism in 1981, the Daily Gleaner award of the Inter American Press Association twice in the 1980s for his writings about Soviet inroads in Latin America, and the American Spectator’s Barbara Olson award for excellence and independence in journalism in 2006.  His home is in Westfield, N.J.

To attend the event kindly can make a reservation by calling 908-654-1794 or via email at westfieldhistoricalsociety@gmail.com. There is a suggested donation of $5 to help offset costs and to support the Society. Sunday, January 29th 2017, is the alternate date in case of inclement weather. There will be a notice on the website and on the voicemail.

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Jan
4
12:00 PM12:00

First Wednesday Luncheon Program: Colonial Beaver Trade

Colonial Beaver Trade

Mr. Kenneth G. Ward is the speaker and his topic will be the 'Colonial Beaver Trade' in the late 16th and 17th century.

This presentation is part of the Westfield Historical Society's First Wednesday Luncheon and will be held on January 4th, 2017 at 12 pm at Echo Lake Country Club. 

In Dutch times the Westfield area was a known habitat for beavers, with a significant portion of the economy reliant on beaver pelts during the early colonial period. Mr. Ward has spoken to many groups over the years regarding the importance of beavers to the region, and how it shaped the relationship between the European settlers and the Native Americans.

Mr. Ward has over 40 years of business and civic experience mostly related to Union County, with a focus on historical societies throughout the county. He served as the Secretary of the Elizabethtown Historical Foundation, Secretary of the New Jersey Historical Society, President and Vice Presidentof the Historical Society Elizabeth and Vice President of the Westfield Chapter of Sons of the American Revolution.

To attend the luncheon please make a reservation by calling Mary Orlando at 908-233-2930, by noon on Monday, January 2nd, 2017. The luncheon fee of $30 (WHS members) or $35 (non-members) includes a three course meal, coffee/tea, and gratuity. Westfield Historical Society memberships will also be available at the luncheon

Echo Lake Country Club is at 515 Springfield Ave, Westfield, NJ.m

For Echo Lake County Club dress code information, visit: http://www.echolakecc.org.

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First Wednesday Luncheon Program
Dec
7
12:00 PM12:00

First Wednesday Luncheon Program

Tales from Early American Journalism

As the only real source of information in the nation’s early days, newspapers played an integral role in the lives of those new to America. In storytelling fashion, Westfield resident Tina Lesher will pinpoint some interesting anecdotes that show the importance of the newspaper in the 17th and 18 centuries.

 

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AppleFest and Apple Pie Baking Contest
Oct
22
12:00 PM12:00

AppleFest and Apple Pie Baking Contest

The Westfield Historical Society’s annual AppleFest will be held this year on Saturday, October 22.  The event will feature activities focusing on Westfield in the 1950’s including a trivia contest drawn from the archives of The Westfield Leader.  There are four questions and you can preview them at the Surveymonkey website.  Come to AppleFest to get the answers!

For amateur bakers there is an Apple Pie Competition. The $10.00 Apple Pie Competition Entry Fee includes: Entry to Applefest event (a $5 value), a chance to win a fabulous prize (one prize per category) AND a free slice of pie (get to taste your own or a competitors!)

Contest is for amateur bakers only! 9-10” disposable pie pans preferred (or clearly mark your heirloom pie plate!)

Pies should be room temperature (“ready to eat”) and dropped off at the Pie Competition desk between noon and 1:00pm. Judging starts at 1:00pm! Winners announced at 2:00pm from the front porch of the Reeve House.

When you drop off your pie it will be labeled and you will be asked to indicate your contact information (phone or email) and which categories your pie should be entered into (it is automatically entered into “best overall” but might also qualify for one of these):

. Best pie baked from scratch (no store bought ingredients)
. Best pie baked by a guy (from scratch or with store bought pie crust)
. Best pie baked by a child under 16 (from scratch or with store bought pie crust)
. Best “anything apple” (does not have to be a pie – but must contain apples)

Rain Day - October 23rd.

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The Lives and Art of Harry and Wende Devlin: A Marriage of Two Extraordinary Talents
Sep
17
to Sep 25

The Lives and Art of Harry and Wende Devlin: A Marriage of Two Extraordinary Talents

  • Reeve History and Cultural Resource Center (map)
  • Google Calendar ICS

The Westfield Historical Society and the Devlin family will present an exhibition of the lives and art of Harry and Wende Devlin at the Reeve History and Cultural Resource Center at 314 Mountain Ave. in Westfield, New Jersey. The exhibit will be opening on September 17th from 3:00 PM to 5:00 PM continuing on September 18th, 24th and 25th at 3:00 PM to 5:00PM and by appointment during the week. (If you are able to volunteer as a docent that would be very helpful too - contact the office on 908 654 1794).

Residents of Mountainside since 1950, the late Harry and Wende Devlin were beloved and multi-talented artists whose 28 children’s books made them famous worldwide. Their storied union began at the fine arts college at Syracuse University and they married in 1941. Harry began his career as a magazine illustrator at the end of the golden age of magazine illustration. When World War II broke out, Harry enlisted in the Navy where he created illustrations of enemy aircraft used by members of our armed forces. After his service, Harry worked at Collier’s and other magazines in advertising and other illustration and also became a political cartoonist — with a conscience. After landing a job at The New York Daily News he was asked to do a pro-Joe McCarthy cartoon. He refused, and was promptly fired. With a growing family with 6 children and a 7th on the way, Harry turned to book illustration. Noting that the artist took away only a fraction of what the author earned, Harry enlisted Wende to write children’s books which he would illustrate.
 
Wende was already enjoying artistic success with her beautiful portraits, mostly of children. She had also begun writing humorous poetry for Good Housekeeping Magazine. In the mid-fifties Wende and Harry created a comic strip, entitled “Fullhouse,” inspired by the antics of their growing children in their large Victorian farmhouse, plus a barn, sitting on three acres of idyllic hilltop . Adding to the “creative chaos” were pets which included a pet donkey, a pair of geese, and poodles.
 
Harry began painting fine art, focusing on his love of American architecture, rendering realistic portraits of historical treasures.  In the late fifties, he gathered his paintings to illustrate and write his first book, “To Grandfather’s House We Go.” These and many other paintings were featured at the Morris Museum, as well as in countless other museums and exhibits. Harry's magnum opus was “Portraits of American Architecture: Monuments to a Romantic Mood, 1890-1900,” featuring 95 of his original paintings.  “Old Black Witch,” written by Wende and illustrated by Harry, was this talented couple’s first collaboration and it was a runaway success. A movie called “Winter of the Witch” was based on this book and became a cult favorite in the ’60’s, appearing on PBS for many years. Their most successful books were the “Cranberry” series. "Cranberry Christmas" was made into a 1/2 hour cartoon by Ocean Spray Cranberry for ABC’s 25 Days of Christmas.
 
On view will be their original paintings, comic strips, children’s book illustrations, military illustrations, and books.  Wende and Harry's partnership of love and creativity continued for 60 years of marriage. They had seven children, and many inherited their artistic talents. Artworks and books of 5 of their children will also be on view. A short movie about the Devlins will play in a separate room. Harry drew a wonderful series of illustrations of downtown Westfield which are permanently housed at the Westfield Historical Society. Remembered for their gracious, generous hospitality locally, and for their influence on the children they continue to touch through their books throughout the world, Wende and Harry Devlin were consummate artists in an extraordinary marriage.
 
Suggested donation of $5 per person. For more information, please contact the Westfield Historical Society at westfieldhistoricalsociety.org or call 908-654-1794. Refreshments will be provided compliments of Coldwell Banker West, Westfield, NJ.

 

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